A Look Inside Honduras, Home Country of Majority of Unaccompanied Minors Crossing Border

A Look Inside Honduras, Home Country of Majority of Unaccompanied Minors Crossing Border

By Alicia Neaves

NewsWest 9

Deportations are underway for illegal immigrants housed in Artesia, New Mexico. Most of them left Honduras to escape the violence and turmoil.

Children in Honduras are faced with the ultimatum join our gang or we'll kill you. If the answer is no, it changes to: stay in this country or we'll kill you.

NewsWest 9 spoke with a journalist who is in Honduras and he shared his experience.

Martin Berlanga, an anchor and reporter from Telemundo Houston, took a crew to Honduras to witness first-hand the violence, poverty and turmoil.

"It's extreme poverty, it's serious. They are living off of two dollars a day," Berlanga said.

He went to Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, and San Pedro Sula, the cities where most of the unaccompanied children crossing our borders come from.

"We were more cautious than scared, we placed ourselves in areas where we could. Some residents would tell us, 'On that street, they butcher and kill people, in pieces.' So we preferred to not go over there," Berlanga said.

He says his most impactful interview in his 25 years as a journalist was with a 17-year-old who is a member of a gang. Berlanga says the boy witnessed other gang members rape then kill his sister.

"The boy told me that they just killed five people, cut them in pieces and fed those parts to the dogs. All because he wanted to be a part of a gang," Berlanga said.

22,000 children have fled Honduras in less than a year. Berlanga visited "El Hospital Escuela," which is the largest hospital in Honduras.

"They are constantly getting children that were victims to stabbings or shootings, due to the fights between the gangs," Berlanga said.

A group of undocumented immigrants returned to Honduras on Monday via airplane. The majority headed to plastic tents run by UNICEF because they simply had no place else to go.

"The children that arrived yesterday, about 40 of them, they will not return to their homes because many of them simply don't know where they live, because they don't know where their parents are," Berlanga said.

Berlanga spoke exclusively with Honduras President, Juan Orlando Hernandez, to address the question made by many: How can I be sure the money I donate will get to those who need it? His response was that they are cleaning house on all corrupted organizations so all corrupt officials will be gone and the money will get where it needs to go.